Well managed forests play a key role in conserving biodiversity and eco-system services, both of which are essential for human well-being.

Indonesia’s tropical rainforests — the third largest in the world — are home to an abundance of plants and animals, including 17 percent of all terrestrial species on Earth.

East Kalimantan is a microcosm of the world’s sustainable development challenges. It is one of the wealthiest provinces in Indonesia both ecologically and economically: 6.8 million hectares of tropical forests contribute to a robust natural resource-based economy. But, logging, palm oil production, mining and fires have taken a toll on Indonesia’s tropical rainforests over the past 30 years, threatening the stability of the country’s natural resource-based economy, eliminating species habitat and compromising the ability of Indonesia’s forests to help combat climate change.

In the Berau District of East East Kalimantan, the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) awarded its certificate for responsible forest management to PT Rizki Kacida Reana, a forest concession managing 55,150 hectares. There are now 40 forest companies with FSC certification in Indonesia, covering 3.1 million hectares in total. Additionally, there are 10 forest plantations with FSC certification (416,157 ha) and 11 community groups (22,570 ha).

© Katie Hawk. The Nature Conservancy.

The orangutan stands as a symbol of Indonesia’s sprawling forests. But people also live in and depend on this country’s forests, which makes the rapid rate of deforestation an environmental and human health issue.

RAFT and The Nature Conservancy are working at all levels to propel sustainable development and responsible forestry efforts. From the Wehea Community Forest to the UN Climate Change Conference, the Conservancy is creating comprehensive framework for forest conservation and green gas house emission reduction.

We seek not only to empower and equip forest communities to make sustainable resource choices that benefit them, but also to take those successes and replicate them through a dedicated network of conservation and policy partners.

If conserved, Indonesia’s tropical rainforests can play a key role in addressing global climate change. Working together, 19 partners consisting of companies, government agencies, communities and NGOs, have agreed to implement a “green growth compact,” a historic commitment between government, natural resource companies and traditional communities to create solutions that can help reverse deforestation and reduce carbon emissions while also improving human well-being and securing habitat for orangutans.